Meet Our Experts

TIEC is proud to represent 25,000 faculty and administrative professionals across the state of Texas.

In addition to leading experts from across the Texas university systems, TIEC’s executive leadership provides innovative perspectives, a diversity of experience, and expertise.  

TIEC’s experts are available to collaborate on research, contribute to conference panels and keynote speeches as well as offer expert insights on international topics of interest to the press.

Photo of Texas Institute of International Education Consortium President Robin Lerner meeting a program participant

Robin Lerner, Esq (Expert in International and Governmental Relations and J1 Visas)

Robin Lerner is a seasoned executive leader. As president of TIEC, she establishes the vision and direction of one of the country’s largest statewide consortium of universities. Having served as a deputy assistant secretary in the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, she directly led four offices, 80 staff and oversaw the J-1 Visa Exchange Visitor Program, an industry of international exchange with 1,400 implementers. Ms. Lerner also helped lead the broader bureau and its $600 million grant-making capacity. She is an expert on the J-1 Visa Exchange Visitor Program, public-private partnerships, academic and professional international exchange, Congressional and government relations, international human rights and public diplomacy.

Liz Holliday, MA (Expert in Public Relations, Media, and Marketing)

Liz Holliday is an experienced storyteller with a proven track record of delivering innovative, influential, and impactful content both in non-profit public relations and as a journalist across various locations nationally and abroad. She has ghostwritten op-eds and placed stories in outlets such as PBS News Hour, The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Inside Higher Ed, and run marketing campaigns and social media for a variety of international organizations. She has an MA in International Journalism from City University London, and a BA in Political Science and Communications from Lewis & Clark College in Portland, Oregon.

Ryan Buck, PhD (Expert in International Education and Capacity Building)

Dr. Ryan Buck is a highly regarded international education and programmatic expert in higher education. Having previously served as the Assistant Vice President for International Affairs at Texas State University, he has specific expertise on enhancing the international profile and reputation of a university, providing strategic direction for achieving internationalization goals, and implementing study abroad and student mobility programs. Dr. Buck advises clients on maximizing non-profit revenue, and on cross-cultural understanding and learning.

John Schmidt, PhD (Expert in International Intensive English Programs, International Education, and English for Special Purposes)

Dr. John Schmidt has a doctorate in Foreign Language Education from the University of Texas at Austin, and has a wealth of experience  conducting teacher training programs. He has trained English teachers on five continents, including teacher groups in Mexico, Guatemala, Cuba, Peru, Germany, Russia, Ukraine, Poland, the Czech Republic, Senegal, Indonesia, and the United Arab Emirates. Dr. Schmidt has years of experience consulting with governments and universities on pedagogy and effective instructional approaches to EFL. His involvement with TIEC international projects dates back to 1986 and includes Middle Eastern work in Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Jordan, Iraq, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Morocco, Malaysia, and more.